Vucic to athletes: Feel free to compete against the Kosovan judo team, we will not force you to commit political acts

The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, told the Serbian judo fighters yesterday that they should feel free to compete against Kosovo in the upcoming Olympics.

„Let me tell you, despite the famous Olympic rule – ‘it is important to participate’, we hope for success, victories, medals,“ the president told the Serbian athletes.

He had a special message for the Serbian judo fighters, who are set to compete with the members of the Kosovan national team.

„Let me be frank, I want to shoulder those problems and all those who want to say something against someone since you will have competitors from so-called Kosovo so that you don’t need to worry. You play sports, regardless if you win or lose, we will stand with you. You play sports, you just do your job, and you don’t worry about anything else,“ Vucic said.

He says that the Serbian leadership „will not force them to participate in any political acts and anything“.

We will cheer for you, we will love you and we will not ask you for anything, neither to leave the podium nor to refuse to compete with someone

Addressing Belgrade’s attitude toward Pristina, the president emphasized that it is the job of politicians.

Kosovo female judo fighters are world and European champions. Majlinda Kelmendi won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

At the recent European Championships in Lisbon, Distria Krasniqi, who fights in the 48kg category, also won a gold medal, while Nora Gjakova won bronze. Since 2015, Nora has won one gold, one silver, and four bronze medals at the European Championships.

He reiterated his previous message to the Serbian judo team:

„It is your job to do sports, you have invested a lot of effort, work, and energy in this competition, behave accordingly, and we would like you to win, of course.“

Following his speech, Vucic then handed over the state flag to the athletes, which they will be displayed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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